May 1999 (Vol. XII, No. 5)

BLESSINGS and EVERY GOOD WISH, dea friends! To reflect on your faith is to look at the strong convictions you live by; to reflect on your life is to examine your faith. Life and faith walk hand in hand.

Faith sees, knows, senses the presence of God in the world

FAITH is the touching of a mystery. It is to perceive another dimension to absolutely every thing in the world. In faith, the mysterious meaning of life comes through ... To speak in the simplest possible terms: faith sees, knows, senses the presence of God in the world.

~ Alexander Schmemann

Abandonment to the will of God is a life-long discipline

Abandonment to the will of God is a life-long discipline that is rooted and grows in humility, prayer, listening, and pondering, as well as an agreement to be close kin to the foolish, unseen, and disenfranchised... It provides life at a satisfying gallop, fast and fulfilling, characterized by contentment and high-spirited courage, and it is an unmistakable sign of great faith.

~ Margaret G. Payne

Opening our loving to God's love

If you are here unfaithfully with us,
you're causing terrible damage.
If you've opened your loving to God's love,
you're helping people you don't know
and have never seen.

~ from THE ILLUSTRATED RUMI

God's call comes in the darkness of faith

God's call is mysterious: it comes in the darkness of faith. It is so fine, so subtle, that it is only with the deepest silence within us that we can hear it. And yet nothing is so decisive and overpowering for a person on this earth, nothing surer or stronger. This call is uninterrupted: God is always calling us! But there are distinctive moments in this call, moments which leave a permanent mark on us -- moments which we never forget.

~ from LETTERS IN THE DESERT by Carlo Carretto
Letters from the Desert
By Carlo Carretto

The nakedness of faith

What is experienced in meditation as aridity, or even as dark night, can at the same time in a hidden but true sense be the brightest radiance of love. But this love must hide itself in the nakedness of faith... Every silence in meditation is meaningful. In other words, where in an earthly sense we experience wordlessness, the spheres of Word and meaning beyond expression open up.

~ Hans Urs von Balthasar
Prayer
By Hans Urs von Balthasar

Faith and love

Where fear and doubt imprison, faith and love liberate;
Where fear and doubt paralyze, faith and love empower;
Where fear and doubt dishearten, faith and love encourage;
Where fear and doubt sicken, faith and love heal; and,
Where fear and doubt make useless, faith and love create new life.

My life has been perhaps harder than the normal, but I have learned to endure what cannot be altered, with only my own inner strength to sustain me. During disastrous times, the inner voice was always there to comfort me, even if it did not always speak to me in so many words. Faith, though, has always played a great part in my life; faith and inner certainty. Endurance, coupled with love and faith have been the keynotes of my life, and through them I have been blessed beyond all measure.

~ from DESCENT INTO LIGHT by Dorothy Fielding

Faith mean being overwhelmed by God

Faith means receiving God, it means being overwhelmed by God. Faith helps us to find trust again and again when, from a human point of view, the foundations of truth have been destroyed. Faith gives us the vision to perceive what is essential and eternal. It gives us eyes to see what cannot be seen, and hands to grasp what cannot be touched, although it is present always and everywhere.

~ from WHY WE LIVE IN COMMUNITY by Eberhard Arnold

The way in which we pray tells what our faith is

The way in which we pray, when we pray really and simply, not saying prayers composed by others unless they are truly the expression of our own faith, but with simplicity talking to God in absolute confidence and sincerity, tell what our faith is.

~ F. Andrew

Faith can turn trials

FAITH can turn trials into new opportunity.
~ Nan Merrill

The word faith implies a way of life imperceptibly chosen

The word faith, freed from its burden of dogmas, implies a way of life imperceptibly chosen -- keenly instituted -- moment by moment. While it is often considered the first step on the path, it is also, as well, the last. In faith, we know that we belong, that we can never be separated from the inexhaustible well-spring from which we take our lives and our direction.

~ Richard Moss

When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has gained

From the viewpoint of BELIEFS all doubts are disastrous. From the viewpoint of FAITH, doubt is the indispensable stimulant. To lose one's BELIEFS may not be a loss but a gain: an opportunity. "When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has gained," is an ancient Sufi saying. To lose one's FAITH, however, is catastrophic; the loss of this vital human constituent means mutilation, dehumanization, cynicism, nihilism.

~ from A LITTLE COMPENDIUM ON THAT WHICH MATTERS by Frederick Franck

Faith is the experience of divine breath

Faith is the experience of divine breath... No intellectual argument can awaken faith; what it can do at best is to eliminate obstacles, prejudices and misunderstandings, and thus help establish the state of interior silence necessary for the divine breath. But faith itself is the divine breath whose origin is found neither in logical reasoning, nor in human moral action. The divine and flaming Word shines in the world of the silence of the soul and "moves" it. This movement is living faith -- therefore real and authentic -- and its light is hope or illumination.

~ Anonymous in THE FIRE OF SILENCE AND STILLNESS ed. by Paul Harris

To see every woman and every man as sister and brother

To see every woman and every man as sister and brother is to participate in the faith vision of the mystic, whose central intuition is a graced effect of contemplation, which gradually transforms our way of seeing reality. This mystical vision is far from an esoteric or "misty" dream, for surely the survival of our planet depends on a universal realization of this unity and the interconnectedness of all peoples and of all the cosmos, in the one Love which is God.

~ from TOO DEEP FOR WORDS by Thelma Hall

I had no faith

I very much wanted to believe in God; but I could not deceive myself: I had no faith. "And suddenly there came a second, when somehow for the first time I saw (as if a door had opened from a dark room into the sunny street), and in the next second I already knew for sure that God exists... I call this moment the greatest miracle because this precise knowledge came to me not through reason but by some other way... And so by such a miracle my new spiritual life began, which helped me to endure another thirteen years of life in concentration camps and prisons."

~ Yuri Mashkov in GOD'S REVELATION OF THE HUMAN HEART by F. Seraphin Rose